ARE YOU OPENING DOORS?....Do YOU feel comfortable "Farming" your neighborhood???
In the past 10 years or so, I have been living in a part of Southampton that has become "THE" place for young families to live. They buy the 1930's bungalows, fix them up and settle in for the long term. The close proximity to schools, parks, the ocean and the heart of the village make this neighborhood prime and extremely popular.
After 9/11/2001, I saw a big increase in year round residents in this immediate area; most just moved out of New York City and settled into their second homes here. Many are young families looking for a safer existence and a place for their children to feel more secure. The trauma of what happened that day left scars and created a fear that had never been there before--people changed their life style to accommodate the family's search for security.
Because I am a real estate agent, I have been very cautious in befriending my neighbors and because this community is very small, I have been extremely sensitive to the intrusion they may feel by my approach.
So, giving my neighbors a chance to reach out to me for advise on real estate--without making them feel like I am being nosy...is the approach I have been using with great success. The less I make an obvious approach, the better results I get.
- Here are several tools that I have used with good results:
- I use postcards very effectively; these post cards are always very casual in the way they are illustrated---I do NOT use a house or anything to do with real estate when I create the post card. Frequently I use a landmark in the immediate area or a garden from the village. I always try to use an eye-catching photo or illustration and this seems to work well...they do read them.
- I inform them who I am; I tell them I am a neighbor and a real estate agent. I give a brief background and then invite them to call me or contact via email for any help I may be able to give them regarding real estate.
- Another tool I use very effectively is "Neighborhood News"...a newsletter with the real estate news for the village and the neighborhood in particular. The news letter is a 2 page piece that I again, illustrate with local photos that are eye-catching and appealing to the homeowner here. The "news" here is local happenings both socially and in real estate--new listings, recent sales with the prices.
- The most effective pieces that I have used show local parks which offer some of the prettiest landscapes--I even found a stairway that goes to the beach near the ocean and a local "wilderness trail" for great walks or runs---I had several calls from people who wanted to know where these places were. I found the newsletter to be very effective.
- During a summer vacation for school children, I have sponsored and invited my neighbors to a neighborhood lemonade stand in front of my own home with the proceeds going to the schools playground--many participated in August and we earned over $350 for 4 weekends, or 8 days of selling the refreshing stuff! Since it is right on the way to the beach, it was a tremendous success and it was open during the high traffic periods both driving and walking to and from the ocean. I heard it helped to buy a much needed replacement of a swing set for the elementry school playground.
The same things may not apply to your particular areas---but I am sure many of you have taken similar approaches. Even though these contacts did not always result in an immediate sale or listing, the door has been opened to the most difficult ones to open: your neighbors. Maybe you can share what you have done to open doors in your neighborhoods???
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY. The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
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